Business briefs: Persimmon boosted by lower mortgages | Diageo share sale

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PERSIMMON Homes is on track to meet its year-end expectations in Scotland, according to regional chairman John Cassie.

The autumn selling season has seen visitor rates rise 6 per cent ahead of this time last year and weekly private sales rates increase by 4 per cent.

He said house buyers in Scotland have been helped by the lower cost of mortgages as lenders access the government’s funding for lending scheme. “The take-up of the government-backed 5 per cent deposit MI New Home mortgage product has also helped stimulate increased activity.”

Walsh sells £1m Diageo shares

Diageo’s chief executive Paul Walsh has sold more than

£1 million worth of shares in the company.

He disposed of 50,000 shares at 1,801p and a further 12,544 received as part of a bonus plan. Walsh still holds more than 764,000 shares in the group worth some £13.7m.

The shares have risen by almost 40 per cent over the past 12 months on the back of continued growth in sales and profits. Its market capitalisation now stands at £46.5 billion.